Beliefs about Voices and Schemas about Self and Others in Psychosis Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: In people who experience auditory verbal hallucinations, beliefs the person holds about their voices appear to be clinically important as mediators of associated distress and disability. Whilst such beliefs are thought to be influenced by broader schematic representations the person holds about themselves and other people, there has been little empirical examination of this, in particular in relation to beliefs about voice intent and the personal meaning of the voice experience. Method: Thirty-four voice hearers with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder completed the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales and measures of beliefs about voices (Revised Beliefs About Voices Questionnaire, Interpretation of Voices Inventory) and schemas (Brief Core Schema Scales). Results: Beliefs about voices were correlated with both negative voice content and schemas. After controlling for negative voice content, schemas were estimated to predict between 9% and 35% of variance in the six beliefs about voices that were measured. Negative-self schemas were the strongest predictors, and positive-self and negative-other schemas also showed potential relationships with beliefs about voices. Conclusions: Schemas, particularly those regarding the self, are potentially important in the formation of a range of clinically-relevant beliefs about voices.

publication date

  • 2015